Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there. 

 

What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.

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It is very sad to me how negatively people see atheists.  It gets especially bad here in the USA if you happen to live in the Bible Belt.  My mom actually lives in denial that I am a non believer which is rather amusing at times.  But as a reference to how we are seen I'll share this story from earlier this week;  I told my mom I planned on getting a tattoo for my birthday and that it would be an atheist symbol of some sort.  Her exact response, as well as my sisters later that night, was "You might as well get a swastika".  That to me is the exact problem and uphill battle we have in gaining acceptance and spreading logic and reason.  It doesn't bother me if someone's beliefs are different than mine, but I just wish they had the courtesy to attempt to understand atheism before they throw me in with the Nazis. 

Hi Ryan.  You're right.  We 'have a very bad rep.  This is largely due to preachers having demonized  us for so long & so assiduously.  The good news is that this is slowly changing.  The internet has been very helpful in letting the whole world know that we're HERE.  Our numbers are growing with each passing day.  I'm 86 & won't live to see our full acceptance. You will, but you'll be old too before this occurs.

"....throw me in with the Nazis. "  LOL   ;p(

If we become mainstream, will I have to wear a special brown shirt with badges indicatiing my level in the 'party'? Who will be our 'party' leader? I think I know what our salute will be, left hand middle finger, in our nose, pointing at our brains? Hail Sagan!

I'd nominate Dawkins as party leader.  But if we're going to have uniforms I'd prefer something a bit more colorful so we don't blend together in a crowd.  Patches based on the invisible pink unicorn and flying spaghetti monster seem almost necessary though.

Ryan, don't wish Xians (even if they are family) to attempt to understand atheism before they throw you in with the Nazis.

Instead, wish them off a crutch that serves them the way a crutch would serve you if you sprain an ankle. Yours would be a physical crutch, easy to see and discard when your ankle heals. Theirs is a metaphorical crutch; they don't see it and it's as hard to discard as their belief.

For me, atheism is a denial of most or all theist chaims to the nature of reality, the source of morality/ethics, the origen of the universe, and the developement of life as seen through the theist lense. This can be a hard sell, a little like starting over, with only your wits to guide you, and some help from your friends. 

"...afraid yet intrigued."

Jessica, I described myself then as fearful and excited--fearful of an unfamiliar loneliness and excited by the new prospects I dimly saw.

As you said, a profound life event helped me throw Catholicism away. I read about and compared the various xianities, read about and compared the various religions, and finally read about and compared the various origin myths. I became confident and free--though finishing a math degree and seeing a good economic future helped . I wish you a similar confidence and freedom.

As an atheist WW 2 Navy veteran I am outraged when I read of attempts by religionists to place their religious symbols on any place but privately owned land. The Soledad cross has no more place where it is now than the Jesus statue on Federal land ( ski slope ) in Montana.  Keep church & state separate, as our founders intended.

William, when you were wrapping up WW2 I was finishing eighth grade. I'm an atheist Korean War Navy veteran (who served aboard a "can" that in 1945 fought off kamikazes at Okinawa). I more than agree with you; I'm an activist in the keep-em-separate effort.

Hi Tom. What was your ship's name & number ?  Our ship was at Okinawa when Hiroshima was bombed.  The whole fleet was there getting ready to invade Japan when the bombs obviated the necessity.  I recall that our squadron of minesweepers was scheduled to sweep the invasion area.  The scheduled date for it was early in November, I THINK.

DD 748, Harry E. Hubbard.

Hubbard skippered the Meredith, one of the Doolittle Raid's escorts. It was sunk and Hubbard died off Guadalcanal. DD 748 launched in 1944. After WW2 she did errands around Japan and then returned to San Diego where she went into the mothball fleet. In late 1950 I helped take her out of mothballs. We went to Japan and joined the fleet off Korea. We arrived after most of the mines had been swept, but in June 1951 USS Walke struck one, killing about 30. Fearing it had been a torpedo, the fleet fled the scene but Hubbard returned to do assistance. Otherwise we mainly shot up east coast railroads and occasionally picked up pilots. I came out an Electrician's Mate 3 and went to college.

I've read that the invasion was scheduled for November. A typhoon came along that would have wrecked the fleet. I chew up and spit out the few who say we shouldn't have abombed Japan. These days I tell people that for the first time in human history, abombs guarantee that those who profit from war will be destroyed. That discourages rational people. Irrational people remain a problem.

My best to you.

Hi Tom, After the surrender ceremony in Tokyo, we helped sweep the inland sea.  Still have vivid memories of that typhoon you mentioned.  We lost almost 50 ships in it, small ones.Most just weren't worth fixing up.  The storm blew them onto shoals.  You couldn't see much more than a couple hundred feet.  Waves up to 60 feet we were told.  I believe them. We launched a whaleboat to pick up survivors. It was a volunteer mission.  I wouldn't have volunteered if they told me they'd make me an admiral upon return.  Never expected to see that whaleboat return.  I was a Coxswain.  My brother was on DD634, USS Doran.  The 634 pulled into Kobe where we were docked. Went over & asked if my brother Jim was onboard .  Gangway guy told me he'd gotten off at Hawaii & was states bound for discharge.  Oh how those memories flood in !

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